This is truly a heavenly place. It only takes about an hour to go through all of it.
In the case of Monaco, a piece of sushi is a real "golden coast". Locals travel exclusively on Rolls-Royces and Lamborghinis, no one here knows the word “unemployment”, the bay is filled with luxury yachts, and one weekend of the year is devoted to Formula 1 racing.
In Monaco, on an area of 2 square kilometers, 37 thousand people live, mainly millionaires and the elite. We will deal with these myths.
The inhabitants of Monaco are called Monegasques. The indigenous inhabitants of the principality are considered Monegasques. There are only a quarter of the population here. In addition to them, the French, Spaniards, Italians and other European peoples also live in Monaco. The very word "Monegasque" refers to the name of an ancient deity. And the principality got its name from the word "monk", which is also in our language. There are a couple of clergymen on the coat of arms of Monaco. It is believed that he founded the principality of Francesco Grimaldi. He and his friends, putting on the robe of a Franciscan monk, made their way into the fortress and captured it.
In Monaco, everyone plays in the casino. The principality is famous for its casinos, but this is entertainment for visitors. Monaco does not recommend its subjects to get involved in gambling. It is believed that it can not only harm the personal budget, but also go to waste of public funds. Access to the casino and children, even accompanied by parents, is prohibited.
The capital of Monaco is Monte Carlo. Geographically and politically, this is true. But Monaco is actually divided into three communes. The princely residence is located in the old Monacoville, Monte Carlo plays the role of a business and entertainment center, Condamine is a seaport. Fontville is a new modern area that has appeared on the land reclaimed from the sea.
There is no crime in Monaco. It really is. Many indigenous people serve in the police. It is considered prestigious and requires a good education. The population of the city is small, which makes it possible to control crime. Many residents are engaged in a lucrative tourism business, because there are no problems with rich guests in Monaco. There are no graffiti on the walls or in public transport, but there are police officers at every turn. In fact, there is one guardian of the law for every 60 people, this is one of the highest rates in the world.
It's dirty in Monaco. The people of Monaco love their country. And the abundance of police officers helps order. But in the tourist season, Monaco gets dirtier - it costs nothing for visitors to throw wrappers or rubbish on the lawn. But this is not typical for the principality.
Monaco is a member of the European Union. The Principality is not a member of the EU and is not obliged to comply with its regulations and laws. This applies to all areas, with the exception, perhaps, of bank insurance. In other cases, Monaco has its own legislation. Traditionally, the Minister of State at the Government Council is a Frenchman. France also defends the principality. If the prince does not leave an heir, then his state will become autonomous under the protectorate of his influential neighbor.
Taxes are high in Monaco. Monaco is in no way dependent on Europe in financial matters. This made it possible to introduce a lighter tax regime here. Interestingly, the Monegasques were exempted from paying taxes back in the 15th century by the Prince of Monaco. At present, there is simply no income tax for both indigenous people and foreigners who stay here for most of the tax year. And this is regardless of the amount of income. The exceptions are the French who arrived in Monaco after October 13, 1962, and companies, a quarter of whose activities lie outside the principality. Creative activities are not taxed. Inheritance tax is humane. Close relatives will not have to pay anything, distant relatives - from 8 to 13 percent, and not relatives at all - 16 percent. Monaco solves all customs and VAT issues together with France. It is the only country with which Monaco has bilateral tax treaties. VAT is charged here in accordance with the norms of French laws. There is no tax on wealth in Monaco, on profits from the ownership of private capital. To manage it, no license is needed at all. But any business activity in the principality must undergo state licensing.
There are restrictions on the purchase of real estate in Monaco. The area of the country is so small that it seems reasonable to protect real estate from being acquired by foreigners. In fact, there are no restrictions. Any citizen of any country can purchase real estate in Monaco. This freedom inflated the prices of houses and apartments in the principality. Really wealthy people can afford to purchase them.
Monaco is the most expensive country in Europe. Monaco is usually associated with luxury, casino and high prices. But this is not at all what defines life here. Real estate in the country is really expensive. A square meter costs up to 20-30 thousand euros up to 50-70 thousand in new buildings. Interestingly, to obtain a residence permit, real estate can be simply rented. It is much more profitable. You can rent an elite apartment for 10-15 thousand euros per month, a high-quality apartment with a couple of bedrooms will cost 4 thousand euros. You can find a studio for only 1-2 thousand euros, which is already comparable to prices in London and pre-crisis prices in Moscow. Prices here are slightly higher than in France. Lunch in a good restaurant will cost 30-40 euros. To save money, you can stay not in Monte Carlo hotels, but in the neighboring towns of Nice or Beausoleil. It is better to eat in family restaurants, and dress not in designer boutiques, but in the much more democratic Zara and Mango.
It is impossible for Russians to obtain a residence permit in Monaco. It used to be really difficult. But after the 2008 crisis, the British and Scandinavians began to leave the principality. Then the government had to think about who to compensate for this outflow. The candidates were Russians, Arabs, Asians. As a result, the authorities gave preference to Europeans who were closer to them in spirit. Russians are trying to become residents for tax exemptions. To obtain a residence permit, it is required that the account has at least one hundred thousand euros. Families with children are preferred. If teenagers also go to the local school, then they can consider themselves full-fledged citizens of the principality.
The elite is constantly hanging out in Monaco. The elite society usually meets in the principality in July-August. Those living here are trying to go somewhere at this time. The rest of the time, Monaco is a quiet family town.
Education and medicine in Monaco are expensive and inaccessible. In fact, there is no problem with the placement of a child in a local school. The level of education in Monaco is good, it is appreciated for admission to the best universities in Europe. And it is much cheaper to study here than in Europe. The situation is similar with medicine. The quality of services here is top notch, and prices are much lower than even in Moscow.
There is a closed society in Monaco. It seems that it is difficult to become your own. In fact, assimilation takes place pretty quickly. Families from all over Europe live in the principality. Local residents are tolerant and open to communication.
There is nothing for tourists to do in Monaco. This amazing world is worth seeing. Monaco is a small fairy tale originating in the center of Europe. Here you can easily meet a celebrity on the street. For each unit of area in the principality, there are many cultural attractions. These are gardens, parks, palaces and museums. You can even walk around the prince's estate. The special pride of Monaco is the Museum of Oceanography, which is directly related to Jacques Yves Cousteau. The Japanese Garden is also famous, where you can enjoy the combination of glass, stone and water while relaxing. Tourists have fun in the casino, taking memorable pictures against the backdrop of exclusive cars. The Formula 1 Grand Prix, which is considered a legendary event, is of great interest to the public.
In Monaco, everyone drives around in expensive cars. This is an established stereotype. It seems that those living here certainly own a luxurious car. Tourists strive to be photographed next to Ferrari or Bentley. In fact, most people in Monaco prefer to get around either by public transport or by taxi. Clean and modern buses are fine for commuting to school and work. There are many middle class cars and miniature smart cars in Monaco.
Everyone is well dressed in Monaco. This statement is only partially true. It is believed that the French have a sense of style. Given that 40% of the principality's residents represent this people, I want to believe that they dress well here. Indeed, in Monaco you can find both men in suits from Brioni and women with handbags from the latest haute couture collection. There are also those who are dressed from head to toe in designer clothes, clearly demonstrating their capabilities. Considering some of the richest people in the world live here, that's fine. But the truth is that people don't always dress like that. And not all rich people want to draw attention to themselves. All people are different. But most choose a casual, versatile style. There is no strict dress code in Monaco, and everyone can freely choose what to wear.
It's always sunny in Monaco. Thinking of Monaco, the sun and the blue sea appear. Most of the time, this is true - the warmth is refreshed by a light breeze. But the weather here is pretty unpredictable. Even in summer, the Mediterranean climate is fraught with unexpected rains and thunderstorms.
In Monaco, everyone speaks English. It seems that in such a popular tourist destination, everyone must understand English. There are such people, but most often there is a language barrier. The official language in Monaco is French, but many also speak Italian. This country is nearby. So it's better to start a conversation in French by asking if the other person knows English.
Monaco is part of France. Monaco dates back to 1297. And although the principality is small and does not border on other countries, it is still independent. It is ruled by a prince whose actions are limited by the constitution. In 1997, Monaco became a member of the UN. The French tried to annex the principality since the 17th century, but international agreements of the 19th century confirmed the status of Monaco as an independent state.
Restaurants in Monaco are open 24 hours a day. It seems to tourists that restaurants should be ready to serve them at any time. But the establishments here are open on weekdays for lunches from 12 to 14 and for dinners from 19 to 22. And on Sundays, restaurants in general are almost all closed. Those who like to sit with a cup of coffee at a table overlooking the embankment will have to run.